DNA match: headless torso found in Copenhagen waters is missing ex-SCMP reporter Kim Wall from submarine

Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been charged with killing Kim Wall, a Swedish journalist, in his home-made submarine

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 August, 2017, 2:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 August, 2017, 10:33pm

Danish police on Wednesday identified a headless female torso found in the Copenhagen waterside as that of former South China Morning Post journalist Kim Wall, who police believe was killed on a home-made submarine.

“DNA match between torso and Kim Wall,” the police said on Twitter.

Danish inventor Peter Madsen, charged with killing Sweden-born Wall on his home-made submarine, told the court she had died in an accident and that he “buried” her at sea, changing his previous statement that he dropped her off alive in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen later told reporters the body was attached to a piece of metal, “likely with the purpose to make it sink”. The body “washed ashore after having been at sea for a while,” he said.

He added police found marks on the torso indicating someone tried to press air out of the body so it would fall to the bottom and not float. Dried blood was found inside the submarine that also matched with Wall, he said.

“On August 12, we secured a hair brush and a toothbrush to ensure her DNA. We also found blood in the submarine and there is a match,” Moeller Jensen said.

The cause of the journalist’s death is not yet known, police said.

Wall’s body was found on Monday by a passing cyclist and police said then it was too early to identify the body which was missing its head, legs and arms.

The case has been followed closely by Danish and Swedish media and has drawn interest from around the world.

Madsen has been charged with manslaughter of Wall, who has been missing since he took her out to sea in his 17-metre submarine on August 10. He denies the charge. He was rescued a day after his UC3 Nautilus sank. Police found nobody else on the vessel.

Danish and Swedish maritime authorities used divers, sonar and helicopters in the search for the body in Koge Bay, south of the city, and in the Oresund Strait between the two countries.

Madsen, an entrepreneur, artist, submarine builder and aerospace engineer, appeared before a judge on August 12 for preliminary questioning. The case is not open to the public to protect further investigations, police said.

Wall, a 30-year-old freelancer based in New York and China, was known among her friends as an intrepid reporter, skilled at exploring hard-hitting topics in obscure, and at times dangerous, locations.

She worked as an editorial intern and reporter in Hong Kong for the South China Morning Post from June to September, 2013, covering news about China for the national desk.